Schedule

Friday, October 24, 2014

3:00-6:00 pm
Intensives – Additional Fee Required

This year we’re offering two additional add-ons for conference attendees only. Attendees will receive registration info via email. Intensives are not included with Regular Registration; an additional fee and separate admission is required to attend intensives.

Allerson Board Room
Writing In The Sheets: A Sex-Writing Intensive with Patricia Ann McNair

Time to let your characters do what comes natural? Not sure how to get it on (pun intended) the page? Join us for a sex writing intensive workshop. We’ll be doing it together and seeing how to do it best. (Talking about writing here. What did you think?) Expect writing activities, literary models, non-threatening peer response, and a lot of laughs.

Park/Fountain Room
Writing is the Easy Part: A Crash Course in Self-Publishing with Cadence Group founder Bethany Brown

An in-depth look at the many moving parts that must come together to self-publish a market-ready, competitive book. From the book “pieces”; to the many bring-to-market options (POD vs traditional distribution); to getting your self-published book noticed, this workshop is perfect for any author thinking about self-publishing.

6:30-8:00 pm
Kickoff Party – FREE – for all attendees, speakers, panelists, guests & volunteers!
Brando’s Speakeasy – 343 S. Dearborn – MAP
Party takes place on the Plymouth Court side. Enter bar on either Dearborn or Plymouth Court.

Meet and mingle with your fellow conference-goers; join us for a drink and some pre-conference socializing and fun. Attendees may check in and pick up conference badges at the Friday Cocktail Party.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

8:15-8:45 am
Check In

8:45
Lake Room
The Power of Writing
Mare Swallow, Executive Director

Mare welcomes you to the conference and shares the tangible impact writing has on everyday life.

9:00-9:50

Loop/River Room
Social Media for the Internet-Challenged Writer

Ankur Thakkar, Author, Editor and Digital Director

Learn how to promote your work, build an online community, and market your work through social media. Ankur will also share creative work by popular writers created exclusively on and for social media, 140 characters at a time.

Lake Room
Writing for the Stage and the Screen
Panel

Hear from screenwriter and professor Michael Fry and playwrights Bilal Dardai and Byron Hatfield about writing for visual media, and how they broke into their respective careers. Moderated by author Robert K. Elder.

Park/Fountain Room
Painless & Fun Book Marketing Tactics for Self-Published Authors

Paula Krapf, Marketing Expert

Don’t put all of your energy and creativity into social media marketing – there are other ways to gain exposure for you and your book. Discover innovative methods to market your book, and have fun connecting with your readers and fans! Be original and set yourself apart from your competition with your marketing.

10:00-10:50

Lake Room
I Can Hear it in Your (Narrative) Voice

Christine Sneed, Author, Little Known Facts

Award-winning author Christine Sneed discusses aspects of narrative voice and how voice is intimately connected to a story’s tone and point of view. Christine will examine passages from published stories with memorable narrative voices.

Loop/River Room
This Publicity Workshop Will Change Your Life

Ben Tanzer, Author and Editor

You need to somehow rise above the literary clutter, if only for a moment, but how do you do that? It involves self-absorption, saturation, compulsion, and repetition. It also involves attending this interactive workshop and exploring the ins and outs of publicity in the age of social media.

Park/Fountain Room
How to Muddle, Stomp, and Conquer Your Way Through Self-Publishing

Clayton Smith, Author, Apocalypticon

Hear lesson’s from Clayton’s self-publishing journey: What worked, what didn’t, and what went horribly wrong — and what went wonderfully right. He bravely made dozens of mistakes so you don’t have to, and he’ll draw from his own crazy-but-successful experience to give you the tools you need to produce a professional-grade book and help combat the accursed affliction of Bookseller’s Infinite Eye Roll. (It’s a thing.)

11:00-11:50

Loop/River Room
Breaking Into (and Getting Paid for) Writing Online

Panel
Editors Tasha Robinson (The Dissolve) and Chuck Sudo (Chicagoist) along with writer Mason Johnson (CBS Online) share their tales from the trenches and tips for getting published online. Hear what works, what doesn’t, and what editors look for when hiring writers. This isn’t about writing for content farms; this is about writing for online publications that actually pay. Moderated by Mare Swallow.

Lake Room
Stranger than Fiction: Writing from Real Life

Panel

Hear from authors Kathleen Rooney (O, Democracy!), Gina Frangello (A Life in Men), and Rebecca Makkai (The Hundred-Year House) as they discuss their endeavors, and how each drew on real-life experiences in crafting their fiction. Moderated by author Robert K. Elder.

Park/Fountain Room
Get Your Work Publisher-Ready: How Working with an Editor Will Improve Your Writing

Kelli Christiansen, Editor

What does it take to get published? Good luck and good timing have a lot to do with it—but so do good ideas, good writing, and good editing. In short: a good manuscript. We examine how the right editing—and the right editor—for your manuscript can improve your chances of getting published.

12:00-1:00 pm
Lunch
On Your Own

1:00-1:50

Loop/River Room
Behind the Scenes in Publishing

Panel

Robert K. Elder moderates a discussion on what happens after the books get printed — and why authors should care. Hear from Brian Wilson, Midwest Representative for Penguin Random House, and Thomas Flynn, Manager of 57th Street Books. Learn how you can work well with bookstores once your book reaches their shelves.

Lake Room
Successfully Submit to Literary Magazines

Panel

A conversation with former TriQuarterly Editor Dana Norris, Poetry Editor C. Russell Price,  and Literary Agent April Eberhardt on the benefits of pitching to literary magazines. Hear about the benefits of publishing in a literary magazine, best practices for approaching them, and when you’ll most likely catch a reader’s eye. Moderated by Mare Swallow.

2:00-2:50

Lake Room
Fifty Shades of Publishing: All the Ways to Publish a Winning Book

April Eberhardt, Literary Agent

Literary Change Agent and author advocate April Eberhardt takes an innovative approach: Encouraging authors to consider all methods of publishing their work, ranging from traditional to self publishing, with hybrid options in between. What are the pros and cons of traditional vs. independent publishing? What is partnership publishing, and why is it so popular? What does hybrid publishing mean? How do you decide which route is best for you? Come learn about how the industry is changing, and how to devise a strategy that suits your goals, dreams, timetable and budget.

Loop/River Room
The Art of the Revision: The End is Just the Beginning

Samantha Hoffman, Author

Roald Dahl said, “Good writing is essentially rewriting.”  Everything we write, everything, needs revision. It would be wonderful if we could sit down to write a novel, move from opening to conclusion, type “The End,” and end up with a masterpiece. It didn’t happen that way for Samantha, and it won’t happen for you. From first draft as the foundation, to flow, to paring it down, Samantha shows you what to look for when revising your own work.

3:00-3:50

Lake Room
Flappers, Witches, and Fairy Tales: What You Need to Know About Genre Fiction

Loretta Nyhan, Elizabeth Blackwell, Authors

Writer Inés Bellina in conversation with Loretta Nyhan (Empire Girls) and Elizabeth Blackwell (While Beauty Slept) on the ups and downs of writing genre fiction, how it differs from writing other forms of fiction, the business end of writing genre fiction, and how each author broke in to the world of genre writing.

Loop/River Room
Seven Ways to Get Your Site in Shape

Lisa Hazen, Web Designer

Before starting a Web design business, Lisa worked in publishing for 15 years. She will show how smart publishing and good Web design needn’t be mutually exclusive by sharing seven essential—and attainable–qualities every author website should have.

4:00-4:50

Lake Room
Closing Conversation: Sara Paretsky on Writing

Writer Noah Cruickshank discusses writing, process, and career with best-selling author Sara Paretsky (creator of V.I. Warshawski, author of Critical Mass).

5:30-8:00 UPDATED
Chicago Writers, Chicago Readers
FREE

Reading and Cocktail Party
Brando’s Speakeasy – 343 S. DearbornMAP

Hosted by author Samantha Hoffman, hear original work from your fellow attendees. Join us at Brando’s, grab a drink, and enjoy some live lit.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

9:00-9:50 am

Pitchfest Premium - SOLD OUT

Pitchfest is sold out and we can not accommodate any additional admissions. Please attend the “Ask the Agents” Panel following.

10:00-10:50
Lake Room
Ask The Agents
Panel
Literary Agents Marcy Posner, Danielle Egan-Miller, Joanna MacKenzie, Elizabeth Evans, and April Eberhardt share their insights from the world of publishing. Learn the dos and don’ts of approaching an agent, why you need an agent, and how to work well with your agent, once you land one. Moderated by writer and editor Inés Bellina.

11:00-11:50

Loop/River Room
Steps to Successful Freelancing

Glenn Jeffers, Editor, Kellogg Alumni Magazine

Between his former job at the Chicago Tribune and his current position as the Editor of the Kellogg alumni magazine, Glenn Jeffers spent nearly five years freelancing. Here, Glenn shares his insight on looking for work, sending in a query and what he looks for in freelancers.

Lake Room
Ask the Publishers

Panel

Editors Kate DeVivo (Agate Publishing), Ian Morris (Fifth Star Press), Naomi Huffman (Curbside Splendor) and Michael Levine (Northwestern University Press) share their insights and the “dos” and “don’ts” of working with a publisher. Moderated by Keir Graff (Booklist).

12:00-1:00 pm
Lunch
On Your Own

1:00-1:50

Loop/River Room
Beyond Google: Researching Non-Fiction

Panel

Writer Inés Bellina leads a conversation with Audrey Petty, award-winning author of High Rise Stories, and Lee Sandlin, author of Storm Kings. Hear about their methods and preferences for researching non-fiction; and what to do when you end up with some not-so-useable material.

Lake Room
Writing for the Younger Crowd

Panel

Booklist’s Keir Graff and authors Allan Woodrow (The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless ) and Erica O’Rourke (Dissonance) engage in a discussion of breaking into the business, the inside scoop on writing for younger audiences, the state of the market, marketing your work, and more.

2:00-2:50

Lake Room
This Happens, Which Causes This to Happen, Which Causes This to Happen, and So On… Cohesive Plot and Story

Eric Charles May, Author, Bedrock Faith

In fiction, ideally, by the time we get to the final drafts of a manuscript, with every scene there should be a direct cause and effect between the scene and what it causes to happen (or not happen) in the story. Eric Charles May tells you how utilizing causality has served him well.

Loop/River Room
Personal Finance for Writers

David Turrentine, Accountant

David’s talk will focus on the tax issues related to self-employment, specifically focusing on writers. He will also cover record keeping, tax planning, estimated taxes, and incorporating.

3:00-3:50
Lake Room
Closing Conversation & Performance: The Q Brothers

See the award-winning Q Brothers perform a piece of one of their most popular Ad-RAP-tations. The Qs are known for putting a modern spin on classics like Shakespeare and Dickens; Mare Swallow will talk to them about their process and how they make such classic (and sometimes confusing) works so accessible and easy to understand. If you missed the Qs at our annual benefit, you won’t want to miss them at CWC!